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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mechanisms of natriuretic-peptide-induced growth inhibition of vascular smooth muscle cells.

OBJECTIVE: While natriuretic peptides can inhibit growth of vascular muscle cells (VSMC), controversy exists as to whether this effect is mediated via the guanylate cyclase-coupled receptors, NPR-A and NPR-B, or the clearance receptor, NPR-C. The original aim of this study was to examine the mechanism by which the NPR-C receptor regulates growth. METHODS: Rat VSMC were characterized with regard to natriuretic peptide receptor expression by RT/PCR and radioligand binding studies. The effect on growth following addition of the peptides and the ligands for NPR-C was measured by [3H]thymidine incorporation. Cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) levels were determined by radioimmunoassay and mitogen activating protein kinase activity was based on the phosphorylation of myelin basic protein. RESULTS: In rat VSMC, passages 4-12, both atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) dose-dependently inhibited serum and PDGF-induced VSMC growth. In contrast, NPR-C specific ligands alone had no effect on cell growth but enhanced growth inhibition when co-administered with ANP and CNP. ANP and CNP also decreased PDGF-BB-stimulated MAP kinase activity. Once again, NPR-C specific ligands alone had no effect but enhanced the effects of ANP. Furthermore, a cGMP specific phosphodiesterase inhibitor dose-dependently inhibited VSMC growth and markedly enhanced natriuretic-peptide-induced inhibition at low peptide concentrations. To examine a potential mechanism for the controversy concerning the NPR-C, we investigated the autocrine expression of ANP and CNP by VSMC and found that mRNA encoding both peptides could be detected by RT/PCR. CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that the guanyl-cyclase-linked receptors mediate the antiproliferative actions of the natriuretic peptides on vascular smooth muscle cell growth. Moreover, we hypothesize that the apparent inhibition of growth by NPR-C specific ligands reported by others may be due to stabilization of natriuretic peptides produced by the cultured VSMC and subsequent action of these peptides at guanyl-cyclase-linked receptors.[1]


  1. Mechanisms of natriuretic-peptide-induced growth inhibition of vascular smooth muscle cells. Hutchinson, H.G., Trindade, P.T., Cunanan, D.B., Wu, C.F., Pratt, R.E. Cardiovasc. Res. (1997) [Pubmed]
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